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Object and principles

Information about the object and principles set out in the Guardianship and Administration Act 2019 that decision-makers must be guided by.

Object of the Act

The most important object of the Act is to protect and promote the human rights and dignity of persons with a disability. It does this by:

  • recognising the rights of people with a disability to make, participate in, and implement decisions that affect their lives (following the UN Convention on the Rights of a Person with a Disability
  • enabling VCAT to set safeguards and appropriate limitations on the powers of guardians and administrators when orders are made
  • providing guidance for guardians
  • requiring orders to be regularly reviewed.

See s. 7—Guardianship and Administration Act 2019 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

General principles

Anyone (including a VCAT member) who is exercising a power, carrying out a function or performing a duty under the Act must consider the following principles:

  • a person with a disability who required support to make decisions should be provided with practicable and appropriate support to enable the person (as far as is practicable in the circumstances) to:
    • make and participate in decisions affecting them
    • express their will and preferences
    • develop their decision-making capacity
  • the will and preferences of a person with a disability should direct decisions affecting the person as far as practicable in the circumstances
  • powers, functions ad duties should be exercised, carried out and performed in a way that is the least restrictive of a person's ability to decide and act as is possible in the circumstances.

See s. 8—Guardianship and Administration Act 2019 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Decision-making principles

In order to fulfil the objectives of the Act, anyone who is making a decision for a represented person must be guided by the following principles:

  • the decision-maker should give all practicable and appropriate effect to the represented person's will and preferences if known
  • if represented person's will and preferences are not known the decision-maker should give effect as far as practicable to what they believe the represented person's will and preferences are likely to be based on all the information from the represented person's:
    • family
    • close friends
    • carers.
  • if after seeking out information, the decision-maker is not able to determine the represented person's likely will and preferences, they must act in a manner that promotes the represented person's personal and social wellbeing.
  • the represented person's will and preferences should only be overridden if necessary to prevent serious harm to the represented person.

See s. 9—Guardianship and Administration Act 2019 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

More information


Guardianship and Administration Act 2019 (Vic)

  • s. 7—object
  • s. 8—general principles
  • s. 9—decision-making principles

See Guardianship and Administration Act 2019 (Vic)(opens in a new window).